tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current October 1, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
a testament of perseverance >> jennifer: i'm jennifer grandholm tonight in "the war room" mitt's debate play book falls into the wrong hands. mine. the podium awaits, to summarize raised expectations might lead to an upward moment that could ultimately lead to a game changer. and team romney releases its list of one-liners. whether we're talking about jobs health care, debt or foreign policies the choice in this election is clear. i couldn't have said it better myself.
>> jennifer: i can now tell you exactly what mitt romney is going to say in wednesday's presidential debate, and i'm going to tell you how you back home can rebut his claims. how do i know what he is going to say? because a talking point's memo from the campaign to romney's surrogates and allies it was leaked today. i know from experience that a memo coming like this just two days before a debate it is intended to prepare the surrogates and allies to parrot really the candidate to repeat and reinforce his position on every issue. so you are ready to hear it and it makes his ability to defend at the debate that much
so that's what this memo is all about. wednesday's debate is going to focus on three of the most contentious issues of the campaign. the focus will be on the role of government, the economy and health care. mitt romney has a history of shall we sa waffling a little bit on these important issues we even have a collection of mitt's flip flops here inside the war room but this suggests where his position is actually going to be on wednesday night. first off, the role of government as a subject, and that really gets fundamentally to the issue of taxes, at least for mitt romney. the romney memo says that mitt romney will not raise taxes on anyone and that he will deliver tax cuts for the middle class.
sounds pretty good, but the brookings tax policy center took a look at this issue, and here is what they found. under mitt romney 95% of americans making under $200,000 would have a tax increase averaging $2,000 while the wealthiest americans would see tax cuts of up to $86,000 per year. and his claim that he can give the wealthy those tax breaks and still close the deficit, that claim is mathematically impossible according to the tax policy center. romney's fuzzy math has put his surrogates in a bit of a tough spot. here is paul ryan trying to explain the impossible on fox us in yesterday. >> how much does that cost? >> it's revenue neutral. >> it's not revenue neutral
unless you take away deductions. and we'll get to that. the first half lowering the tax rates does that cost $5 trillion -- >> no. >> you haven't given me the math. >> oh, it would take me too long to go through the math. >> come on i don't have the time to tell you how the math works. then he follows that awkward statement with another statement today. >> i like chris. i didn't want to get into all of any math of this because everybody would start changing the channel. >> jennifer: kind of funny. i isn't know candidates were worried about fox news ratings, and it wasn't just paul ryan having difficulty with this issue.
governor bob mcdonald today was also at a loss to explain this math. >> where is the mat and is mitt romney going to be undepressure to produce specifics. >> first that's a laughable question. the question is how do you get america back to work? what paul ryan just said on your clip, is you flatten the base -- you increase the number -- you reduce the number of deductions that are out there, and you expand -- you expand the base. >> jennifer: ahhhhh, ahhhhh, ahhhhh. it's a laughable question. what deductions will you close or eliminate? how will you pay for the plan? and when it's difficult to explain romney's tax plan because there is no explanation. he hasn't offered any specifics.
all right. third issue, as i mentioned is this is what the debate is going to be on right? on the economy. now the romney memo says that mitt romney will champion manufacturing jobs and bring them back to our shores and it also says that america has lost 582,000 manufacturing jobs under the president's watch. now mitt romney clearly plans to go after the president on the jobs record, but here is the truth. president obama has the longest stretch of manufacturing job gains -- get this wait for it -- in almost two decades. since 2000 when president bush came into office, the manufacturing sector went into a steep slide, but since 2010,
that slide has turned around. the president has record on manufacturing jobs since president clinton. and he noted as much during his dnc speech. >> and after a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years. >> jennifer: now in polititfacts rated that statement by president clinton as true. mitt romney's own plan would cost 800,000 u.s. jobs according to the study for american progress. the corporate tax cuts would cost the u.s., according to that study, nearly $1 trillion. all right. now the third debate topic, and the third myth that is -- we are
debunking here health you will hear this over and over again. you have heard it. the memo reads $716 billion will be raided from medicare to pay for obamacare. now this is the same raiding medicare lie that romney has been pushing since august. >> romney: the president's plan cuts medicare -- excuse me -- well let's see -- there we go. by $716 billion. cut. >> jennifer: polititfact, the fact checker in looking at that statement rated it mostly false because here is the truth. president obama has made medicare more efficient by cutting costs in the program to
the tune of $716 billion. that's cutting costs, not cutting patient care, not kicking people off of medicare, not cutting benefits, just cutting costs by making it more efficient. and then he reinvested those savings back into medicare to extend its life by eight years. and this is the kicker. paul ryan proposed the same thing in his budget but now that he has nothing better to run on, he and romney are attacking the president for the very same cuts that were in paul ryan's budget. these are the same proven myths and falsehoods that romney is going to say on wednesday night. these are the ones that his surrogates will repeat in the days after, and up to that debate. we are going to continue to focus on this, because we want you to be armed. it is up to us to refute their
claims, us being us and you, and thanks to this memo you have a coming up, as you can see anybody with about ten minutes and a strong stomach can debunk mitt romney's myths. the question is will he persist with them during the debate? and why? it's go time. what time is it rob? oh, then it's go. go. go. go time. anybody? anybody? what time is it? oh, right. go time!
that mitt romney is going to likely mythologyize his way through wednesday's first presidential debate. and us now is democratic strategy peter fenn. he runs his own firm, fenn communications group. peter thank you for joining us inside "the war room." >> thanks, it's great to be back, jennifer. >> jennifer: do you expect mitt romney to push things that have been widely debunked like this claim that the president raided med medicare? >> i think he is going to stay on his message, because he has nothing left to say. the fact checkers have hit him, they have debunked a lot of what he said, and he is going to have to be awfully skillful if he is
going to try to pull the wool over people's eyes again. >> jennifer: he telegraphed that he is going to go after president obama's on what he calls president obama's lies. do you think that makes him hyper subject to scrutiny because of the hypocrisy. >> that's what i was wondering. karl rove wrote a piece about how they have to go after the president's untruths. the problem he has got right now is that he cannot explain his program. he will not go into any kind of detail of his secret plan to balance this budget and get the economy on track because there is no plan. you know, if you look at the situation, it would -- he -- he says he is going to increase defense spending. he says he is going to give us
all a $5 trillion tax cut or at least the wealthy people and balance the budget. that doesn't take an act of congress. it takes magic. >> jennifer: all right. you are in his war room prepping him for debates, and you know you are going to get this question. how does the math work? what loopholes, deductions will you close or reduce? what would you advise him? >> there are over 200 tax deductions we have out there. his $5 trillion tax increases would cost us $550 billion a year. that's half of all of the deductions that are already out there. the top five account for 50% of that $1.1 trillion.
and that's -- you know, that's health care, they are not going to cut that. [overlapping speakers] >> jennifer: okay. >> here is what he is going to do. he is going to tell the people that he is going to go the economy; that people are going to be out there paying taxes; there are going to be far fewer unemployed -- >> jennifer: that's the magic. >> that's the magic. >> jennifer: the old tax cuts will create magic explosion of growth. >> and 12 million new jobs. poof. this is puff the magic dragon is what this is. [ laughter ] >> jennifer: okay. you are in the debate and you are the president and you know he is going to try to make magic answer out of this specific
question about his tax policy. how does the president push back without losing an appealing nice-guy image? >> i think what he does is uses some of his speech at the convention, and use some of bill clinton's speech. talk about the math. it just doesn't add up. how he is not being truthful with the american plan either he has a plan or he doesn't have a plan and now it is the time to explain it. mr. romney, you have an hour and a half to explain it. >> jennifer: that's what the president says. we have time explain it. oh, that would be so perfect. [ laughter ] >> jennifer: so mitt romney is claiming out of his mouth that he is going to -- he -- i think
he said -- was going to be fact checking the president during the debates, real time? >> maybe he has a little something in his ear -- >> that didn't work very well it didn't. >> jennifer: describe the fact-checking experience in a presidential campaign during the debate. >> i think -- look what you have got of course out there is a lot of people tweeting and folks commenting and all of that going on outside. but he is not going to have a lot of notes and stuff with facts on them, i don't think. plus this president -- if he is not anything, he is careful. you are not going to see coming from barack obama a lot of crazy numbers and wild -- wild claims. that is not going to happen. >> jennifer: you know what is interesting -- i imagine, peter -- i'm sorry to
interrupt -- but i am imagining, during the debates they all have these big fact checking war rooms. i imagine the fact checking war room where nobody is doing anything. it's a boring night for the fact checkers on the president's side. >> yeah, absolutely. >> jennifer: you are going to stick around, right? >> absolutely. >> jennifer: after the break we are also going to get a republican take on the new romney talking points. duf sundheim is going to tell us whether he actually framed this memo and hung it on his wall or lined his bird cage with it. plus what do president obama and mitt romney's previous debate experiences tell us about what might happen on wednesday (vo) what is said here could decide the election. current tv presents coverage of the presidential debate. with unrivaled analysis and commentary. >> you're going to hear that
used as a major talking point. (vo) the only network with real-time reaction straight from the campaigns and from viewers like you. >>now that's politically direct. ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪ [ male announcer ] the ram 1500 express. ♪ ♪ it says a lot about you. ♪ ♪ in a deep, hemi-rumble sort of way. guts. glory. ram.
leading absent those yellow states with 237 electoral votes to mitt romney's 191. in ohio a public policy polling survey shows that president obama is leading by 4 percentage points, plus yesterday a columbus dispatch poll had the president up nine points. so let's give those 18 electoral votes to president obama, brings him to 255 and romney 191. in florida a poll shows president obama leading by 1 percentage point. that's until the margin of error, so we'll keep those as a toss up at yellow. out in iowa -- again these are all polls out today -- in iowa there was a we ask america poll showing president obama 44%.
we'll give the president those electoral votes. things are looking better, though, for mitt romney in north carolina. in north carolina the arg poll shows romney leading 50-46%. and a ppp poll out today that shows it all even. so we'll keep in the toss-up column. there are 36 days until the election. this election actually despite everything you are hearing, it is still up in the air. so don't count your chickens, folk. back with us from washington, d.c. is peter fenn, and joining me here inside "the war room," duf sundheim. duf, let me start with you because of all of the polls that have been out lately, there has been some movement of republican
money. there have been in fact fox business news is reporting that some of mitt romney's new york donors are taking their money to the house and senate. and that trend reflects an increasing level of anxiety both with the nature of the romney campaign, and show president obama has a lead in swing states that some republicans think is insurmountable. do you think it's too soon? >> yes. you are going to see some anxiety, you are at a football game, and people start leaving for the exits way too early. >> jennifer: i think we're going to have to follow the money.
though. peter after all of the millions that have already been donated how important it is for campaigns to get new funds with a month to go especially if there is a feeling that you are in a ship that is sinking? >> it is really important because you really need that last-minute push and it's not just television advertising, or the big bucks for station voters. it's to open the offices for the last month in some of these critical states. they know the nine states and what they have to do they are going to pour money into those states. and there are really close senate and house races. so they may want to put the money into those races.
>> jennifer: i think that's a good point. if they think the presidential race is a little more iffy then they want to save the other races. there was a statement that said that the romney campaign now wants to frame this election as a choice and not a referendum which is something totally different. it says this election is a choice between two our nation's future . . . interesting shift of strategy, isn't it? >> i think it means it is going to be more aggressive instead of trying to run the ball up the middle. i think they are going to be throwing passes. if you are making at it comparison, you have to show what your policies are. >> but they have been quiet
about this stuff -- >> that's right. and that's what i think they are going to do in the debate. >> jennifer: do you not think the shift to choice is a response to the fact that the election was becoming more of a referendum not on president obama but to mitt romney. yes. absolutely. so it does reflect their change in their strategy. the only thing is about the amount of money i don't think that will be thedefining issue in this debate. >> jennifer: what do you think, peter? do you think the obama campaign is going to agree that this campaign is a choice of very very different views about where the country is headed? >> well i think it may be a little bit of rope a dope going on here from the romney side. they really still want this to
be about barack obama. you are going to hear i think at this debate -- and duf is correct -- you have will hear more from romney about himself and make himself a little bit more likable, but you will hear about his policies for the future. but the main thing i think these folks are going to concentrate on is if you like the last four years, boy oh boy love the next four. >> jennifer: right. >> they will try to make this more about the president. >> jennifer: what i think is going to be interesting on this, duf is if mitt romney is going to focus on the things that truly have been debunked before then he is going to be in a very awkward position, when he says
he is going to prove that what the president said is a lie. >> i think really what is more important is that he is going to point out, look, president obama promised us that unemployment wouldn't be this high -- >> jennifer: that's another lie. he didn't promise that it was going to be 8% or less -- >> just christine roamer his -- >> jennifer: but that's the given up four pants on fire pinocchio rating as well. >> i think the american people understand when he was selling the stimulus program, he was not promising we would have more than 8% unemployment. he did say that health costs would go down and it's not. >> jennifer: all right.
rick, again, i'm speaking -- i'm speaking -- i'm speaking -- you get 30 seconds -- the way the rules work here is i get 60 seconds, and you get 30 seconds to respond -- say you knew -- >> anderson -- >> are you just going to keep talking? let me finish what i have to say. >> jennifer: oh, god, i love debates. have you eh seen mitt romney so animated. i always figured he was kind of a stickler for the rules guy,
but to go so far as to kind of tattle on rick perry. and what about the time that president obama was kurt with hilary clinton. >> i don't think i am that bad. >> you are likable enough hilary. >> thank you. >> jennifer: there has been endless speculation about who is going to do better and of course the fact is they both have weaknesses when it comes to debating, and how do they get weaknesses. joining us tonight for more on how we can expect the to perform is alan schroeder. he is a professor of journalism at northeastern university and author of "presidential debates: 50 yours of high risk tv". love it! welcome inside "the war room"
professor. >> thank you very much. i wanted to start by saying can i call you jennifer the way that sarah palin -- >> only if you wink when you do that. >> right. right. >> jennifer: you absolutely can, let's start with the candidate's weaknesses. you have said that president obama has several weaknesses. he may be overly cautious rusty, out of practice, and testy. any of those fatal flaws? >> not necessarily unless they are magnified in a way that make them a fatal flaw. but related that is this idea that i don't think he is that excited about being in the debate, and i think that's typical for a lot of candidates and yet that is a problem. because when you are happy to be there, that's when you turn in a good performance. it's when you are worried about
feel like you are stepping through land mines that things can go wrong for you. >> jennifer: who wants to be in this high-risk, high-profile tense environment? nobody loves that. >> no, but i think certain people rise to the level of the performance. bill clinton you always got the feeling that he was very happy to be there. >> jennifer: it makes me smile thinking about it. you also say that governor rom any has a few of these flaws as well. he could be overly cautious, he lacks spontaneity. he appears awkward and whiny. and he might be boring. if you were comparing the flaws of either one of those, which would you rather be? >> i think i would rather be
obama. however, i do think they are fairly evenly matched. and in some ways there are similarities. i see both men as being men more about the intellectual side of things and not the emotional side of things. nay are both a little bit aloof. but the clip we looked at where mitt romney loses it about the rules, that was the most impassioned we have seen that. but isn't it interesting he is not getting passionate out of issues, he is getting because he feels like somebody is cheating him out of his time. >> jennifer: exactly. i'm fascinated by this though, because speaking of process, the
romney camp has said they are going to be fact checking the president during the debate. when somebody is accused of lying in a debate, you suggest doing the opposite of what elizabeth warren did recently. let's watch that. >> i think character is important. as you know, i think what you are refer iffing to is the fact that professor warren claimed she was a person of color, and she is not. >> senator brown wants to raise an issue about my color, i'll lay it out when i was growing up these were the stories about my heritage. and i never asked for any documentation. >> jennifer: what was wrong with her answer? >> here is the problem you get
into. if you try to defend everything that is thrown at you during the debate, then automatically you are playing defense and wasting the time you would like to be using to make a proactive statement just reacting to what the other person is saying. so i think if somebody hits you with a lie in a debate, you have to let the fact checker do some of that heavy lifter for you. when you were in the debate did you feels like you could respond? >> jennifer: when you are in a debate and somebody has said something about you, you think do i want to spend my time responding to that craziness, which gets me really mad because they have done this or spend my time with my proactive agenda. there are some things you may
want to respond to but when should you use your valuable debate time to actually do a response to an attack. >> i think when it's to your benefit to do that if you can turn that around and make the other person who is making the charge look bad, that's when you do it. but it is so tricky. the thing that is so interesting about debates is you are in the moment. there is so much pressure, so much going on and the clock is ticking, and you have to make judgments on the fly and you just do what you can at that moment, right? >> jennifer: right. i want to get your prediction who is going to win wednesday. >> it's a live tv debate. i think i would be out of my gourd if i told you who was going to win. i'm not in the prediction game
here. >> jennifer: oh, you are letting me down, man. my prediction you are going to have your popcorn and you are going to enjoy wednesday night. that's for sure. >> you better believe it. >> jennifer: thank you so much for joining us inside the war room "presidential debates: 50 years of high risk tv." if mitt romney told a lie in the forrest, would the main stream media hear it? (vo) what is said here could decide the election. current tv presents coverage of the presidential debate. with unrivaled analysis and commentary. >> you're going to hear that used as a major talking point. (vo) the only network with real-time reaction straight from like you. >>now that's politically direct.
♪ >> jennifer: with mitt romney trailing in many of the polls the republicans have spent the last week not praising his policies or trying to change people's minds. they actually were instead criticizing many of them, the pollsters themselves calling them a bunch of left-wing cheerleaders saying they were skewing the numbers. this week started with more of the same, only now they have moved on to beating up on their favorite scapegoat of all time the main stream liberal media. >> i think it kind of without saying that there is a definitely a media bias. we expected media bias going
into this. >> jennifer: i say all of this knowing that i'm here at current tv which is of course a progressive channel, but we don't pretend to be balanced in that way. anybody with objectivity might actually think the regular media is biased in the other direction. the top selling newspaper in this country is the wall street journal. and that paper now has romney advisors writing for their op-ed page. the journal published 23 pieces from ten romney advisors without ever disclosing their ties to the campaign in the paper. and fox news which is the highest-rated cable news channel, they do the same with
commentators acting as independent analysts. for more on the right-wing's claim of media bias. i'm joined by eric boehlert, senior fellow of media matters for america. he comes to us from new york. welcome back inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me. >> jennifer: do you think that the right-wing sort of denial of the polls -- we'll start there -- >> right. >> joy: has worked to rally their base? >> i guess. it's a pretty crummy way to try to win a national election. >> joy: when you don't have anything else, man. >> as chris christie said when you are complaining about the press, you are usually behind. i mean i'm media allegation.
the press is out to get. republicans. so they have branched out and made it bigger and better in their minds. now pollsters have become part of this vast conspiracy. the liberal media has gotten all of these independent pollsters to cook their books. they even have the fox news pollster, and today rasmussen has obama up three points. so now they have everybody. it really is a vast conspiracy because no matter what direction you turn there's just more proof that it's nonsense. i mentioned the murdoch, wall street journal poll. nine swing-state
polls, and obama has won all of them. that tells you obama is probably doing pretty well in those states. you don't need these dilutional fantasy. but that's where the right-wing is. >> jennifer: we did a bit of this on the show on friday to look at the polls and look at the fox news polls too, which also said that obama was ahead, that left-wing rag. but media matters has a right-wing competitor, which is the media research center and there was an open letter to the media. it says . . .
>> joy: what is your take on that, and the work that the media research center does. >> i don't think much of the center because they don't provide a single bit of research. they could have written that same letter in 2000 they never have real evidence to back it up. i believe there was an ongoing -- you know, analysis of the campaign coverage during the winter. they were looking at all of the primary candidates and guess who had the worst coverage out of all of the candidates and barack obama? barack obama had by far the hardest media coverage.
so they sit around years they claim the media is rigging the election. here is my question how did george bush get elected twice if the media rigs the election. >> jennifer: but you have to admit that somebody who is not affiliated with either side of the aisle, that look at this and the right is complaining, the left is complaining. where do they debt an honest assessment? >> campaigns that are not doing well, get bad press. if you run bad campaigns, you get bad prez -- press.
just watch the news itself. news most of the coverage is very straightforward, and you can tell who is telling the truth and who isn't. >> jennifer: eric boehlert, senior fellow of media matters for america, thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room" this evening. coming up digging up (vo) cenk uygur is many things. >>oh really? >>"if you ever raise taxes on >>the rich, you're going to destroy our economy." not true! ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪ [ male announcer ] the ram 1500 express. ♪ ♪ it says a lot about you. ♪ ♪